Deadly antibiotic resistance could be countered by gene drives

a ce f aa e c ae a f f
Image: National Geographic

Where a gene drive that cuts and destroys plasmids may fail, a gene drive that cuts, pastes, and copies plasmids may succeed. The “where,” in this case, is an antibiotic-resistant bacterium that carries multiple copies of an antibiotic-resistance gene. …

To overcome this problem, scientists based at the University of California (UC), San Diego, developed a gene drive that incorporates a self-amplifying mechanism. Called Pro-AG, for “proactive” active genetics, it increases its efficiency through a positive feedback loop.

Pro-AG was introduced December 16 in Nature Communications, in an article titled, “A bacterial gene-drive system efficiently edits and inactivates a high copy number antibiotic resistance locus.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The article’s authors, scientists in the laboratories of Victor Nizet, MD, and Ethan Bier, PhD, suggest that their Pro-AG system may reduce one of society’s most formidable threats to human health. Widespread prescriptions of antibiotics and use in animal food production have led to a rising prevalence of antimicrobial resistance in the environment. Evidence indicates that these environmental sources of antibiotic resistance are transmitted to humans and contribute to the current health crisis associated with the dramatic rise in drug-resistant microbes. Health experts predict that threats from antibiotic resistance could drastically increase in the coming decades, leading to some 10 million drug-resistant disease deaths per year by 2050 if left unchecked.

Related article:  Talking Biotech: The powerful potential—and risks—of CRISPR engineered 'gene drives'

Read full, original post: Antibiotic Resistance Hoops Countered by Gene Drive Feedback Loops

Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Genetics Unzipped
Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

Infographic: Deaths from COVID-19 are far higher than reported estimates

More than 2.8 million people have lost their lives due to the pandemic, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis ...
seralinistud

Gilles-Éric Séralini: Activist professor and face of anti-GMO industry

The French biologist and his research team--funded by the Rodale ...
vandana shiva

Vandana Shiva: ‘Rock Star’ of GMO protest movement has anti-science history

In a 2012 interview, Bill Moyers referred to Vandana Shiva as ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
glp menu logo outlined

Newsletter Subscription

Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend